Picabo Angler

Pee-Ka-Boo is a Native American word meaning "Shining Waters."

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Filtering by Tag: Hoppers

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - August 8, 2017

We have waited a long time for a good Grasshopper season. We now have a GREAT Hopper season underway! One of the greatest joys in fly fishing, is without question, “The Hopper Take”! We wait months and months and months as fly anglers for the opportunity to throw the big bug. We see the Brown Drake early season and the Salmon Fly on a few rivers and get the opportunity to cast big dry flies. Then every few years we get Hoppers in fantastic numbers. When it happen it seems to happen on all our rivers.

This season the South Fork of the Boise set the bar high early with Hopper action practically ties to the Salmon Fly hatch. The Hoppers continue to grow and be eaten on the South Fork. Drift Boats are the way to go if you want to cover a lot of water with a big foam Hopper. We carry the Morrish Hopper in Pink and Tan.

The Hopper / Dropper rig on any river right now is not a bad way to go. On Silver Creek, think pure and forgo the Dropper so you can see the big “Inhale” on the flat water! Silver Creek is still fishing well with Damsels when the wind is down. The Stalcup Damsel in Blue or Tan is the fly these fish really want to eat. The Callibaetis hatches and spinner falls seem to be growing again, as the size drops to nearly an 18. Try to find small size 16 patterns or big 18s. Tricos continue to bring up pods of fish if you are in the right place. If it’s 9:00 a.m. and you aren’t seeing fish podded up, think about trying a completely new area.

Both the Upper and Lower Lost rivers are fishing well with a Hopper, or Hopper / Dropper set up. The downriver flows are still challenging, but the tributaries like the North and East Forks are fishable. The flows on the Lower Lost are still challenging to wade while staying in the river channel, but some Crane Fly action and some Nymphing will catch fish. In most runs the Hopper is a great searching pattern.

The Big Wood is providing anglers with broad smiles as everyone learns new spots and new runs that the fish have also learned and love! Those medium sized attractors both wet and dry are the way to go. Oh, and HOPPERS!

Happy Fishing Everyone!



Sun Valley / Picabo Fishing Report - July 5, 2016

Baby Hoppers Are Here!

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Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - September 7, 2015

Fall is upon us. The leaves are changing, chainsaws are heard in the timber, elk are bugling, gardens are being harvested and autumn hatches are here!

On the Big Wood the Western Red Quill is out and about, driving the fish crazy! This BIG mayfly is a mouthful for a fish and a great way for fish to fatten up before winter. Couple this with the enormity of Fall Baetis hatches and it’s apparent that this is a good month to be a trout in Idaho! Expect to see both of these insects during bankers hours and with quite a bit of overlap as well. Trico on warm mornings is still a possibility and Hoppers are going to continue to take fish until they are long gone.

Expect a lot of the same thing in the Upper Lost, with a lean toward Ants and Hoppers. Although the Upper is fishing well, the water is low enough, be prepared to cover a lot of ground! The fish are holding in the deep water and under the slick foam lines. Look for this water type and you will find fish.

The Lower Lost continues to fish well when flows are reasonable. It looks as though they may stay at fishable levels for the duration, but keep an eye on the CFS. If it remains below 350 CFS, you are in business and the trip is worth it. Skating Crane Flies is the most fun way to angle, with Trico and Baetis also bringing fish to the surface. If nothing is happening, fish with red colored nymphs and Zebra Midges.

Silver Creek remains excellent, although with shorter fishing windows. Expect the morning activity to start late, sometime around 10:00 a.m. and even later on cold mornings. The afternoons are becoming more and more productive and the early evening has been really good. If you fish the Creek, have Baetis, Callibaetis, Hoppers, Ants, and Mahogany Duns. Expect to see the Mahogany Dun any day now, as the cooler weather should bring this bug to the forefront.

The South Fork of the Boise remains around 600CFS, making some wading possible, and some boating possible. Hoppers are the way to go if you head down there, with a residual Pink Albert on a hot day and Ants a great fly in the slowest water!

Hunters can expect to see a few northern Doves making their way into the valley and the Grouse hunting remains solid. Be safe and enjoy the hunt!

Happy Fishing and Hunting Everyone!


Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - August 10, 2015

August means two things to most South Central Idaho anglers; fishing at low light periods and Hopper fishing! With the desert winds blowing and Hoppers fully grown, we are entering an 8 week period where the Grasshopper becomes a mainstay in the trout’s diet.

Some thoughts on fishing the Grasshopper  

*To kick or not to kick? That is the question and it’s a good question. The answer is simple. Some days yes and some days no. That is not much of an answer, but it does tell you one thing – It’s almost always either or. They all want the fly moving, or none of them do. Switch back and forth between techniques until you lock in on what they want that day. Personally, if I’m fishing buckets in the middle of the river I move the fly so that it looks like a kicking Hopper. If I’m fishing the bank, I try not to move the fly (if I don’t have to) so that it stays pinned on the bank.

*The splat is where it is at if you want to catch Big fish on Silver Creek with a Hopper. It is no secret that the biggest Brown Trout on the Creek live under the cut banks in the bright light of August. Making your fly go “splat” is telegraphing to the fish under the bank that it is there. They can’t see it land when they are tucked, but they are certainly listening. You can always tell when this happens, because the fish will come out from the bank at a perpendicular angle instead of rising parallel to the fly. The splats where it’s at!

*Foam flies or fur and feathers? No clear answer on this, but without question the fish on the Big Wood love traditional Dave’s Hoppers and fish on Silver Creek and the South Fork of the Boise love to eat Big Foam flies!

*Tippet size…Fish about to eat a Grasshopper DO NOT care what your tippet size is. Fish heavy tippets to protect against fish teeth sawing through your line. Fluorocarbon is also a great place to start. Fishing a 9 foot, 2X Leader is about all one needs.

*Let them have it – then let them have it! This is the technique anglers want to use when fishing adult sized Hoppers. Simply let the fish eat the fly and take it under the surface, before you let them have it with an aggressive hook set. Hoppers have large hooks that you want to bury with force!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - September 8, 2014

While we begin to string clear and temperate fall days together it becomes easy to get lost in the rhythm of them. It is not a stretch to think they will last forever and winter will never come, but she will. One morning you’ll walk out to your porch or truck and you will pick up your frozen wading boots. You will notice that day while fishing, the afternoon just won’t quite warm up. You’ll go to sleep that night thinking the hatches weren’t very strong. The next morning you’ll awaken to 4 inches of snow. You’ll probably shrug and head to the tying bench to start cranking out Midge patterns for the rest of the winter.

We’re not there yet! We are just at the beginning of these great fall days. The cool days this week and the warming weekend could produce a change in our insects as we await the Western Red Quill on the Big Wood, the Mahogany Dun on Silver Creek and the Fall Baetis on every river in the Rocky Mountains! Be sure you have all these flies in your fly box over the coming days and weeks.

The greatest show in the Valley these days has been the Callibaetis hatches on Silver Creek. This noon time insect is causing quite the buzz as anglers are starting to plan their days around this speckled wing mayfly. The best part is we are seeing this incredible fishing on the slow waters of Silver Creek and especially in Kilpatrick Pond where all the restoration work happened last Fall and Winter. Anglers were worried that the hatches may be diminished after the removal of the silt, but alas, this has not been the case. In fact the hatches are outstanding and we can’t even imagine how good this Callibaetis hatch is going to become in the years to come, as the pond settles into a seasonal natural rhythm!

Don’t forget that Hopper season is still upon us and despite less than stellar fishing on the lower part of the Creek, big fish are still taking this fly from the desert stretch of the Little Wood all the way through the Silver Creek Preserve. Fish this fly with confidence and attrition and you’ll most likely be rewarded with your biggest fish of the season! We love to fish big foam Hoppers on the Creek and 2X or 3X fluorocarbon tippets!

Happy Fall Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - August 25, 2014

When was the last time you broke out your fingerless fishing gloves, a neck gator and a hat when you were fishing Idaho in August? Who would have thought it would come to pass this season? Ideally we are trending back to a more normal August this week, but at this point we could have a snow-nado for all I know!

So, short of a Snow-nado, forest fire, flood or some other trick Mother Nature has rolled up her sleeve, perhaps we can get back to some summertime hatches and world class fishing. Silver Creek has benefited a great deal from the cloud cover and the extra water in the system and with the return of the sun we can expect the return of the Trico spinner falls, the Hopper action and Callibaetis afternoons. This may ramp back up slowly, but the fish should be hungry and ready to take advantage of some lighter conditions and more consistent hatches.

For those of you with guns and dogs, the beginning of the Upland season starts this week. Grouse opens on Saturday and the word is that there are a lot of Grouse this fall! This is a great bird to hunt in the cool forest early in the morning while we wait for temperatures to come down. Hunters can avoid rattlesnakes and overheating dogs by taking advantage of this time of the day at this time of the year.

Dove hunting opens on Monday! If you haven’t checked yet, Idaho Fish and Game announced this:

The Fish and Game Commission has approved liberal limits in response to new harvest strategies for North America's most abundant game bird. The daily limit for mourning doves will be 15, and the possession limit will be 45. The season will last 60 days, from September 1 through October 30.

The new harvest strategy approved by the Pacific Flyway Council is designed to conserve mourning dove populations while minimizing annual regulatory change. While this may be confusing to Idaho hunters in the first year, in the long run the goal is to provide more consistent seasons and limits in the future.

Great news for Dove hunters and foodies alike, as Dove is certainly one of the best tasting game birds out there. We are coming quickly into the finest time of the season for outdoors people in Idaho. So get out there and cast and blast this weekend. Be sure to have all your licenses updates and be sure to have your migratory bird stamp for Doves!

 Happy Fishing and Hunting Everyone!


Sun Valley Area Fishing Report, Sept. 4th, 2013

The hatches on Silver Creek the past few days have been less than spectacular, but this is being made up for with spectacular afternoon Hopper fishing. We’ve been waiting awhile for the fish to really lock on to these terrestrials and it seems as though they finally have! The key to fishing the Hopper on Silver Creek is to cover water, fish BIG foam patterns and use a stout 2X Fluorocarbon Leader measured to 9 feet. The other terrestrial that is getting a lot of attention lately are large black ants. The fall is the time to see large numbers of flying ants, so we expect this action to continue and get even stronger!

The Big Wood is beginning to fish well, with all the access opened back up. It’s not a bad thing that the fish received a few weeks of rest in the middle of the summer. Now it’s time to get ready for excellent fall fishing with the Western Red Quill, the October Caddis and the Fall Baetis. All of these insects should begin to show up with cooler nights ahead. In the meantime a Dave’s Hopper fished in the fast water is an excellent choice. *NOTE: The Big Wood blew out today 09/02/13 from the ash left from the Beaver Creek Fire. Expect these conditions to last at least a few more days.

The Lost River is still the best game in town, with Trico and Baetis swapping turns as the dominant hatch of the day. The afternoons are primarily Nymphing time with some opportunity to cast Hoppers in the seams and skate some Crane Flies.

The South Fork of the Boise below Anderson Reservoir remains closed by the Forest Service, due to the recent fires. In any case, this is a great time of the season to be fishing. School has started and the weekdays are very quiet out on the rivers. Take advantage and make sure you gear up for the coming autumn hatches: Red Quill, Fall Baetis, October Caddis, Mahogany Dun and Flying Ants.

The past weekend was the opener for Forest Grouse and Doves. The Forest Grouse population seems to be very strong with large coveys of birds being reported. The Dove opener went well with many hunters reporting limits and near limits. The warm days may keep a few of these birds around, so what is normally a two day season for us, before the Dove head south, may last longer this year! We are certainly off to a good start to the season!

Happy Fishing and Hunting Everyone!